tv Capital News Today CSPAN May 12, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
signals you could send to the oil industry. could you elaborate? and also answer this question before we finish. assuming this legislation passes. will it bring down the prices of oil at the pump? you don't have to use my terms. that answer that for me. why are we doing this? why are we putting you at a disadvantage when you're that little small slice of the overall pie. and you are competing against nations that have oil. nationalize the oil companies. >> the competitive disappointment is exactly right. the chart is accurate from what
my information would tell me as well. we have to be careful is not to lose this enormous opportunity in the u.s.. we have a tremendous number of resources. it is a matter of access. it goes beyond the limited part of the conversation today. to look at a real energy policy, we could have a significant impact on the economy, the deficit, the trade balance, and the energy security of this company. >> how do any of you believe that this bill will help decrease the crisis at the pump? >> no. >> know. >> know. >> some people are upset i have taken this time.
i am the only one here on the republican side because everybody had to go the white house. i would hope that i will be granted a little bit more time. >> i also want to know where we are at this point to 1/2 hours into the hearing. you will have done that as major oil companies, a dramatic about- face this morning. in 2005, you were there. you said you did not need tax incentives to drill for oil. today you have come to say you have got to have them when oil is at $100 a barrel. that position defies common sense and even adjusted for inflation, you're doing better now than in 2005. this debate will go forward, but i want to make sure that folks paying attention to this pickup on that as we wrap up.
the tax credit that exists for blending ethanol. you are required by law to implement the federal rental standard. your testimony says, and i quote, bp is already one of the largest lenders of ethanol and the nation. my question is, why should oil companies, not just years, beginning $6 million a year in tax credits for complying with an existing law to blend ethanol? >> that law was introduced as a biofuel into the u.s., and it has been very successful. we're not opposed to the transitional incentive being phased out. we think it is important for second-generation biofuels.
>> i am glad we are noting that. there is no question in terms of energy policy that often you need an incentive to get something off of the ground. clearly what he is talking about is that incentive made since the beginning, but it doesn't make sense now. i think it is constructive that you said you'd be willing to phase it out. i thank you. >> i think that we should all look at them. all the tax expenditures. all of the incentives to see which ones are more effective than others and we can get rid of a few of them. it is a difficult question for all of us. cholera about a hundred and 31 tax provisions.
they are a nightmare. it makes no sense. under an 41 times every 18 months, that they have to be paid for is just maddening. we will be looking at a lot of these provisions and others. i like to eliminate a lot of those so there is not a lot of uncertainty surrounding our side and from that side. we will be looking at expenditures to see which ones are effective. >> let me concurred in regard to tax reform and assure you that there is great interest to making sure that the tax cut is more competitive and predictable. it is extremely important for investors, and we have to get investors of knowing what the ground rules are. i will only make one comment in
response. it has all been repealed and equals about 3% of the profits of the five companies. most of these profits are going back to the shareholders. i don't see the impact that the senator is referring to on either jobs or any of the issues that you bring up. >> they are making the point, if you're going to do this, treat them fairly along with other companies. i agree that we have to do tax reform, and that includes looking at everything. i don't want them mistreated because they are an industry that people hate. >> let me bring it back to the point that has been used here.
i understand companies are taking the tax provisions are taking advantage of it. if you're not doing that, you have problems with your shareholders. understand why we think this is either unwarranted incentives or subsidies. it was a response to dealing with the fact that our corporate taxes are not border adjusted verses in europe and other countries. we did something to help foreign sales. that is the genesis of section 199. we wanted to be able to compensate for the fact that our foreign competitors had an advantage on the way the taxes were handled at the border. my understanding is that in your industry, there is more important product have been
exported. it does not make a lot of sense for you to get a tax advantage under the philosophy that this bill was originally created for. the rule of the provisions out of compliance and we had to go to a general manufacturing provision. that is how this came about. we have questions as to whether this is a reasonable tax advantage to the oil industry. it is not traditional manufacturing. and it is not the type of export activity that was disadvantaged by the corporate structure to have a product enter the international marketplace. this is the largest single source of the revenues we are talking about today. it has its genesis of helping
the united states manufacturers get a product into the international marketplace. which is not the circumstances of the product that you're basically involved with. the final product is mostly domestic. i am sure some of it is the international marketplace. it is certainly not the target for why this was put in the tax code. anyone disagree with that? >> if you want to repeal it, repeal it for everyone. i am not sure that the coffee roasters are growing coffee here and exporting coffee. i am not sure the newspaper companies are exporting their newspapers. i don't disagree with your comment or your premise. the only point is, if you want to get rid of them, get rid of
them for everybody. >> some manufacturing companies, this is rough justice and it really helps them. i would rather do it directly with foreign sales. i would like to reform our tax code so that we can have a preventive basis. we should tailor this more to the purpose of helping exporters that manufacture in the united states. >> cannot treat companies in the same industry different and don't treat industries are principle of exports differently. >> is tough to go on line. i understand the point that you are raising. i'm only pointing out that that is why some of us look at section 199 as it relates to the oil industry as an unjustified incentive or as a subsidy because we don't believe it was
the original intent to benefit your type of activity. i did want to put that into record. >> i want to repeat and expand a little bit about what i said earlier. i do believe that you are out of touch. i'll believe that that does not mean the you are not good people or that you don't participate in your communities. or along with the work you have to do. and in the main reason that you are out of touch, particularly with respect to americans and the sacrifices that we are having to look at in terms of having to come close to balancing a budget is a you never lose. you have never lost. how you always prevail. you always prevail in the halls of congress had to do that for a
variety of reasons because of lobbyists, friends, all the places you do business. i don't really know any other business that never loses. that always fails to do as well as you do. one of the problems, and you can tell this in no way, is just the size of the amount of money you take. it is really hard for average people in west virginia to even come close to understanding. they don't think that that can come by in the regular order of the way the world treats them. they are always in the process of losing. everything is an uphill battle. so my view of my work in the west virginia that is mostly mountainous, it's that i am holding on to the huge boulder with both hands and trying to
push it up hill. is every day that i feel that. and i love the feeling. but i know if i take one hand off, high and the boulder disappear into the ether or the opposite of the ether. the gulch. that leads me to say, this is my opinion. but i really believe its. i've never seen any industry so cosmically successful. i think you all have a great sense of assurances as you're sitting there, more so than usual. you have a great sense of assurance spearheaded of think you feel threatened by anything that is going on here. and i guess you don't have a reason to feel threatened because of the way that votes lined up in this present
congress. but i yearned for one of you to see what average people are going through. is to figure out some way in your mind, what can i do as a very large and profitable company to make sure that that bad thing doesn't happen to that person, losing health insurance or losing a unemployment insurance. the endless number of things that people have to worry about every single day. you don't have to worry about those. you have the money to have planes and our people don't. i want to stipulate that. and say one more thing. the greatest danger to this country right now other than the
deficit is something called cyber security. we're writing of bill and the congress committee of the homeland's security is participating in that. he comes up with a solution that i hope we can pass this year. there is an enormous amount of work that companies have to go to the being attacked already. the pentagon has hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of times a day but people getting secrets. anybody can do that. so how they defend themselves? they have to go through all kinds of security measures. i met with most of them yesterday. particularly the bigger ones, you're going to have to bear the expense. we don't have the money to do that for you.
we are going to be facing these problems. they said that they think that is the way it should be. we should have to pay more and began to make ourselves more secure. that is why, you know, when you talk about r&d, your expenses are like research and development for a pharmaceutical company, and that is why i think it is wrong of you to say that. i think that is a cost that you could absorb so easily. and still do very well. but not once during this hearing have i heard any semblance of a willingness to share unless every other company also has to,
a way of building of the defense that it can't happen. i haven't heard anybody talk about what they are doing, what they would be willing to do to share in the budget problem and the total concept of what keeps america together. that is a sense of fairness. everybody has to give something up. do any of you have any things that don't add on the so long as every other company does it, too? things you can just stop doing, and breaks that you will allow -- that you now get to the u.n. to get as a way of helping? >> i very much appreciate the comments that you're making. i can only represent how we as a company field.
we feel like we are constrained and restricted the from our opportunities. we feel we are edible industry that provides the energy that has developed this country into what it has in the standard of living. we feel we are part of the energy solution for this country. we are constrained. we're ready to invest and do far more. it is not a question of looking for incentives. put us back to work. give us access and let us start drilling. but our people back to work. >> can i just say that we feel constrained. we can't do what we want to do. maybe you are right and maybe you are wrong. i think you are wrong.
a great bulk of our people and our country that are suffering in ways that you have no idea of, just don't understand. and they think that is sad. >> it opens up another subject, i just want an answer from my own information. i have not discussed this at any great length. but i have said previously that you would like more access. that whatever it is, there are more access permits. as he said, mobil. this is the question that i have, there are millions of acres of leases that you are not utilizing. i am just curious what response to that, if there is one.
it does, quite frequently, that question. >> i will take you back to alaska and try to put this in perspective. i will put it in terms of leases. we are one of the top three. sometimes the second or third largest operator in the gulf of mexico. about 35% of those are producing. in some stage of a valuation, it is coming forth. we have over 400 leases or that are sitting waiting for permission to move forward, just to put that question forward. >> i can comment on lead times. a lot have been said about leases that are in development. we just made a final investment decision this year. it was seven and half a billion dollars of commitment.
we made the expectation that we would get permits, those leases were first issued in the late 90's. we did not know how to explore or develop in that deep water. technology has advanced. we have begun exploratory drilling. that we have made decision that will result in production in 2014. there is a long lead time in the offshore area where most of the undeveloped places are today. we're having trouble getting permitting a on the leases that we have, keeping those leases in active, and when we talk about the opportunity that is there, we have to talk about timely issuance of permits so that we can continue to explore. the other is making sure that the continental shelf is fully explored. and you have made estimates that you could create companies twice
the size of chevron with the resources that we haven't developed yet. we won't know what we have until we explore those areas. that is the opportunity we are talking about. >> the second question, the public reports, i think, a think it was 2010, about 60% of the after-tax profits were invested with stock repurchase or dividends and so forth, about 40% would be an investment, i don't know. it seems a lot of that money is going back to shareholders. the money you're making is a stock repurchase. why isn't more of that going into investment? how does the percentage of compare with other industries?
>> we earned about $30 billion. we invested $32 billion. we invested more than we earn. with that cash flow, we pay all of our expenses, the salary wages, the benefits. we pay taxes, we find opportunities. and what is left over, we pay the dividend. and we return that through share repurchases. they invested it with us, they entrusted us with our savings to grow it and give them some and come back. i know is a novel thought here in washington. >> i appreciate what he said. i have a chart here.
for 2010. it says that stock repurchases as a% of profit was 70%. the tried a budget anything, just look at it. i don't think they are consistent with the numbers i just gave you. >> 30 billion in profits, my recollection is that we return $19 billion to shareholders last year. >> i think if the public sees this, they will think, it would be better for that money to go back to more jobs, more investment, so forth. >> give us something to work on. >> how about trade?
>> i don't think i came to negotiate a trade with you, senator. >> i would offer if they behave 51 $6 billion to shareholders, ultimately, those dividends are taxed and the government receives revenue. when we do, our stock has gone up 30 or $40. that generates tax revenue for the government as well. and the money has been reinvested where the investor thinks it is appropriate. >> yesterday, and the wall street journal, the former democratic congressman harold ford, a good friend of mine
asked whether gas prices are climbing the with any elected official call for new taxes on energy. the thought was a pretty interesting question coming from a democrat. in your testimony, you say that changing important tax provision outside the context of corporate tax reform would achieve one unmistakable outcome. it would restrain domestic development and reduce tax revenues at a time when they are most needed. would you folks please elaborate on the negative economic consequences of the proposed selective tax increases that they would impose only on your industry and not the others? >> to the extent that taxes are increased, it impacts the
economic evaluations that we go through. we spend less on deepwater development. as to the extent of more onerous tax provisions are placed on us. >> anybody else care to comment? or do you agree? >> this business came up today. generally, all u.s.-based companies are entitled to a foreign tax credit based on foreign taxes that they paid. it would be really wise to go to a territorial system. but our system is a screw the system where we are constantly trying to find ways to resolve some of these difficulties when ernie's money overseas.
let me go through this. generally, all u.s.-based companies are entitled to foreign taxes that they pay. foreign based multinationals do not claim that u.s. foreign tax credit. it is essential to most american companies with global operations. the capacity rules in place determine to what extent a payment from a u.s. company is equivalent to an income tax and eligible for the foreign tax credits. and to what extent such payment is for systemic -- such as economic benefits such as for the right to operate a gambling casino and are not eligible for foreign tax credits. the first question is for anyone on the panel the clearest -- appears to answer. is it true that it would be
harmful to american based oil companies, but the repeal would be a negligible effect of foreign based companies? the second question is, to the best of my knowledge, there only a significant benefit to two sectors of the united states. in any of you confirm that that is the case that the recent proposal would still allow the gambling casinos like mgm resort, caesars entertainment, or gaming in the las vegas sands to claim the benefit of dual capacity rules and you would not be able to. let me just make sure that i understand correctly. it seems to me it would harm american oil companies but would not harm foreign oil companies or gambling casinos. i'm not for harming those.
about the know much gambling business, but i can tell you that when tax rates exceed the u.s. rate overseas, if we don't have a dual capacity tax treatment, will be ceding to foreign rivals. even european companies, it is very important. the internal revenue service is willing to distinguish between royalties and tax benefits. there is very little that has been studied more than this subject. it may have been difficult a few years ago. but there is an abundant rule. is important that we be allowed to take tax credits where we have already paid taxes overseas. >> i would echo his comments that it would have a devastating impact on our ability to compete overseas. this is one topic where you'll
not find the companies' alliance because the competitors are at the table and they operate under a territorial system. we would lose competitiveness and relative to them. and an already very crowded and enormously competitive world we find ourselves, the space because of the growing presence of the national oil companies which already come to the game with other advantages that we don't have, we have to of setback by finding ways to out compete them. >> you are competing with national oil companies. national and international oil companies. let me finish with this comment. if i get you correctly, what you're saying is that it would be very unfair to pass this type
of legislation because it would be selective taxation against your industry the other industries in this country can benefit from? and that doesn't seem right to you as far as i can see. if i am summarizing this property -- properly, you can surely correctly. it would be an unfair approach and will make you less competitive if that happened. it would cost jobs, and most importantly of all, it would cost real jobs. you have put a lot of people to work. people come to congress asking for help. the oil business has really helped alaska over the years. you have to put people to work,
and frankly, if i understand this hearing and what you are all saying, it would be unfair. and probably -- not probably. the bottom line is, and let us think any of you will disagree with this, it will not bring down gas at the pump one penny. in fact, it is likely to go ahead because of the selective taxation approach. >> this concludes the hearing. i will and where i began, namely that we have got a fiscal problem on our hands. we have to get the deficit down. we have to make choices and none of them are easy.
twice a week ago over to the blair house to meet with the vice president and members of the senate. home secretary geithner, gene sperling, going dallas trying to figure out how we do this -- and going down a list to figure out how we do this. the conservation programs, which is food stamps. this is not fun stuff. keep that in mind, and you go back to the daily work, we can contribute here, too. we are in this together. everyone clearly once more jobs, more growth. and incentives to invest in the united states.
more american investors, we find incentives to do that. the other measures encourage investment. this hearing is concluded. i am not totally convinced that these provisions had that much, or if they are taken away, given the huge profit margin because the price of oil is so high. this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. what i see, i grant you, we have to develop an energy policy.
there is a lot that we have to do. >> one last comment. i know that you are sincere enough to do that. my problem is, there is not a real good reason for raising this. if they raise these taxes, congress will spend every dime. have the capacity right now where a film that might work better, it would cause this to go down. >> i will disagree, we have to give these deficits down. so we don't come up against the death led so we can't be
>> in this conversation is happening at this time in a highly political debate. when gas prices are so high. is there any truth at all to the charges made a you guys are out of touch with the american people? >> the results of hearings of that to me is i would love to invite some of the members have participated today to get better in touch with what we're actually doing. with people that represent every element of society involved in these companies. the real opportunity to have an impact on the country, we talked today about certain tax elements and certain billions of
dollars associated with the tax elements. we think about the benefits, you're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars is not ultimately trillions of dollars into the federal treasury. it is a completely different conversation. >> what i said was that i was very cautiously optimistic. the fact that we have had a coordinated meeting with a across agencies, that is a positive thing is that we've been missing the last couple of years. of the means progress. >> what do you think is the real problem here? >> there are lots of individual elements. i could've said the pact that we could meet the air emissions for drilling and kept us from
drilling in 2011. the bigger issue overall is the political will to make this happen. that is the bigger issue. there are lots of small reasons. the right way for the country, it would not get done. >> a year that point? >> the term cautiously optimistic is an important statement. we want to move forward with this development. it is the better thing for the country. that is really our intent to try to make his goal. >> what about your reaction? >> is helpful to open the conversation. there is even an opportunity to say there is a bigger picture here that makes a lot more
deference and impact to the u.s. and then talking about a few incentives. you can impact the economy and the federal treasury and deficit over time. -- isk we're building good for a bit of humor, but we need to kill her. >> you know you're going to come here and they're going to grow you and put you on the spot. >> we believe in the american governmental process and this is part of participating in that. it is supplemented by individual meetings with the members to make the points that we want to make, something that we will always participate in. >> to the point about the debates of the repealing of
incentives leading to higher gasoline prices. can you make the case that would lead to higher gasoline prices. >> it is hard to make definitive statements around prices. part of the conversation was about all of the elements. one of the answers was that oil is flowing in a relatively short time to somewhere in the $30 a barrel range. there are so many factors, you can't said definitive impact. you heard the economics. this stage -- this is a globally competitive business. that means less domestic production, and regardless of how that directly and immediately affect the price of gas, has those other unintended consequences with significant benefits like money into the federal treasury. it is much more valuable to make
the production than to squeeze a little bit more. >> is there a possibility if the taxes were changed the the money would be passed along to the consumer any way? >> and the more likely choice is that money shifts and other parts of the world. that is the way this business works. we make those decisions in the 25 per $30 billion that we spend every year. we make those decisions on a weekly basis. >> you mentioned the prices. the think his relatives are behind that. >> we don't have any reason to think there is anything negative going on. if that is the orientation of the question. those that buy supplies of oil going forward and those in the
trading market are evaluating all of the factors that are there which are not only the shearer supply and demand fundamentals, but the supply- demand fundamentals into the future as economies start to recover. i say immediate disruptions in the north african and middle east countries as we speak, you see the impact of the tragedy of japan. all the roles and to what is the price going to be in the future. i mentioned the airlines and my comment earlier. the business that wants to get assurance about what it will pay into the future will buy into those markets. that is a fundamental positive necessary impact associated
[unintelligible] any basis to say that. what i mentioned in the testimony, this has come up many times before. we have looked into this very deeply before. there is a negative impact here or something out of proportion. >> one more question. >> your industry is making a lot of profit. oil prices are high. how do you disconnect the for the consumer? >> let's talk about the u.s. business. this was a hearing largely about the u.s.. when you think about the numbers, all of this is about profit. we just did a rough average of our income and investment over the last five years.
it is something like $3 billion a year profit. higher prices, it allows us to invest more that has the cycle of building more supply. and all the other benefits that go back to the consumer in terms of more jobs. and an opportunity to reduce the deficit. as the picture that we were trying to drive today. >> we have to take off. >> i'll be here to take your questions.
>> up next on c-span, said that minority leader mitch mcconnell and his meeting with the president of federal spending. the potential presidential candidates give a talk about health care policy. and the leader of libya opposed the opposition at the brookings institution. earlier this week, the former house speaker newt gingrich kicked off his presidential run with an announcement on twitter and facebook. he will be speaking at the
georgia republican convention. you can watch it the beginning at 7:15 p.m. eastern time. this june, the balance between security at liberty. the difficulties of the climate change treaty at the limits of international law. his books include social norms and the perils of global realism. and take your calls, e-mail's, and tweets. >> following a white house meeting with the president, said minority leader mitch mcconnell says the president obama would have to agree to short, medium, and long-term spending cuts to get the vote on raising the nation's and debt ceiling. he calls for a cap on discretionary spending. this is 25 minutes.
>> in the afternoon, everyone. as you know, we had a meeting with the president, republican senators at a meeting with the president today and i think it went very well. he gave a number of anybody who sought recognition a chance to speak. we had a candid exchange about the opportunity that lies ahead of us in connection with the decision whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. an opportunity to work together to do something important to the american people. i can only speak for myself, but what i said to the president, i would say to you as well. to get my vote, it will require him doing something in the short term, and to give you an
example of something that i think could begin to get my vote is to set how much we are going to spend for the next two years and continued to move that so that we are actually reducing spending. but within the budget window, whether it is five years or 10 years. and on both discretionary spending, caps and entitlement reduction. and third, in the long term, we all know that long term, we have over $50 trillion in the unfunded liabilities in a very
popular programs that americans depend on perry they are simply on an unsustainable path. for me, for my vote, it would take a significant short-term, medium-term, and long term. who determines what is significant? standard and poor's. when of the things that i just learned this morning, and of the secretary of the treasury agrees. if the financial condition of the united states government is reduced, if we get a lower rating, there will not be a single financial institution in america that enjoys a higher rates. it produces a kind of cascading effect on the credit rating of every financial institution in america. what that proves is, we need to address the problem.
the problem as a $14 trillion that that is the size of the economy. it will make us look a lot like greece. and in excess of 50 trillion dollars in unfunded liability that we simply cannot afford. with that, let me throw it open. >> some of the things you're talking about, particularly entitlement and medicare, the types of things could take awhile for the system to work its way through. are you open to terms? increasing the debt limit has some condition? >> of the things i am talking about have already been studied to death. we don't need more hearings. it is a question of what we want
to do this an area where there is they're both intended and unintended consequences. that will not certainly be accomplished. we're talking about spending reductions. there'll be no tax increases in connection with the ranging -- raising the debt ceiling. the only question remaining is, how can we agree on a bipartisan basis? the talks that are going down and led by the vice-president, there represent those talks.
>> earlier this week, the speaker said that any increase should be smaller than the amount of spending cuts outlined. the you agree with that? is there some flexibility on your part? >> i don't think we can negotiate the deal in here. i am certainly comfortable with what the speaker had to say. we're looking for trillions, not billions. we're no longer talking about reductions in this year's spending amounting to billions. we're talking about trillions. >> he said that tax cuts are off the table. >> tax increases are off the table. what is the response? >> in the context of the debt ceiling, i assure you that we
will not be raising taxes. >> he said funding caps would be off the table? i was wondering if that was a message that he conveyed. they had an opportunity to express concerns and try to get a sense of the theme of the question? >> you want me to " my members to you? of thing that will do that. but we had eight members or so that spoke. i will give you some names and they will -- and you could ask them what they said. john hogan, i am sure i am leaving somebody out. i am sure you can ask them. they can share that with you.
i think it is -- candidly, i was a little skeptical. but i think it was a very good meeting. it gave the president the opportunity to have republican senators tell him directly how they see this. everyone did very respectfully. and we didn't have a big food fight in their over the things we typically fight over. i thought was really helpful. >> we are going to have spending cuts. at least to get my vote, will have to establish a cap. i'm not opposed to cast in the out years, it is just often times ignored one way or another in congress. and again referring to discretionary spending. if you change the eligibility, it is widely perceived and is almost always real.
>> hall that largely the because of the debt ceiling? if we were downgraded, would it be out of fear of the fault? >> the subject raised the is what we talked about. >> what type of spending cuts would you like to see? >> on the budgetary side and the discretionary side. caps on discretionary down the road are frequently viewed as promises to do something someday maybe. so on the discretionary side,
the caps that you can depend on for the first couple of years, it is still worth doing because it puts pressure down. any kind of entitlement reform inside of the window or outside of the window will likely be viewed by s&p and others as credible because we don't vote on entitlements every day. we are on automatic pilot. to give you a sense, taking a look this year of how significant all of this is, we're taking about $2.20 trillion. we will spend $3.70 trillion. $2.20 trillion that we are taking in will be entirely consumed this year by entitlements and that. let me finish. entitlement and interest on that will absorb every single dollar of new taxes that we take in this year. that is how bad this problem is
and that is why we need to act now. >> tax increases are off the table in the context of raising the debt ceiling. what context with the be ok? >> of that is what we are talking about, getting republican votes to raise the debt ceiling. gosh, you talked about raising taxes. is that of the table in context of the debt ceiling? >> how you get the debt ceiling raised? there won't be any republican votes in connection with the decision to >> i already addressed that. he cannot do that in two months. it ought to be done. it is worth doing. he cannot do tax reform between now and august.
it is a question a sandwich combination you will do. >> accounts for large accounts. do have to cut reductions in defense spelling? >> did not gone into the details of where. we are not likely to get it. what is the most important thing that comes out a budget. ever since the budget is pretty unlikely, let's negotiate.
it is a big decision. >> did he keep you a list of parameters as to what you will have to do it? i think they set august 2. >> they want early july? >> i can just say what they read the newspaper. back we said it will come to it. we did not even spend any time talking about that. >> what entitlement reforms do you favor in the medium term? leonel i will not go into all of that right here.
-- >> you know i will not go into all of that right here. he is the only one of the second sign a bill into law. i think that is a step in the right to erection. it can actually reach a decision on a bipartisan basis. if it reaches a, we will be recommending it to our members. >> there is a meeting about whether this should be a clean bill or revenue or spending on whether there the other things. >> the debt ceiling will not be cleaned. that is that what you are asking.
it is obviously it will be cleaned. of the stuff lot we have been talking about. >> are there social issues? >> this is about reducing spending. >> there have been commitments from both sides the social issues will not be as a loss. >> you are saying these are your components for the short term. does it have to be partner? >> for my boat, yes. there may be others that feel differently. vote, yes.e >> i think of them in 1996. they are balancing the budget.
it seems like ancient history. that was very significant. neither party controls the entire government. some argued the only time that you can do really big stuff and do it on a bipartisan basis, i was running for the senate for the first time in 1984. they raise the age for social security. i was not asked about it a single solitary time. the whole course was contested. they did it together. when you do something big and difficult together, it is front difficult. i think we can stipulate that is there is a bargain as some kind, none of that will be
usable for either side in next year's election. we can do something for the country together. this is the opportunity. this is the importance of this moment. it is the one time or may have to come together and we need to come together. >> he mentioned this. >> are you sure you want to try this? >> some of the low hanging fruit seems to be the contribution to social security.
i you suggesting the social security needs to be part of this? >> i love for social security to be a part of it. he is adjusting and did it without raising taxes. we do not think that is necessary. we ran a $50 billion deficit in social security this year. i do not expect this to be dealt with. >> it is well produce.
what are you saying? that to putng anybody down. the most important one is the president of united states. the only american in the country that can sign a bill into law is also the president of the united states. lsc is directly involved, it will not lead to an outcome. -- unless he is directly involved, it will not lead to an outcome. this gets a result. i am going to take more.
>> [inaudible] this is some criticism of him being aloof from this. >> he is doing it because he needs to. this is a tough thing to ask members of congress to do. people are not wildly enthusiastic but raising the deficit. this is a tough sell. and when not put him down for that. i think the meeting is constructed. >> thank you.
hos[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tomorrow, the head of the administration information will talk about gas prices. also, a book that federal spending -- a look at federal spending. >> let me be as clear as i can be. without the significant spending cuts and the changes in the way we spend the americans people money, there'll be no increase in the debt limit. >> it is online at the c-span video library. we covered everything through today.
>> not available, at the complete guide -- now available, the complete guide to congress. new and returning house and senate members including contact information and committee assignments. order online at c-span.org/shop. >> met ronnie was in an arbor michigan today. -- mitt romney was in an arbor, mich. today. this event is hosted by the university of michigan. >> thank you to the leadership of the medical school and school of public health. people are here as part of the
this is like being home. i am going to talk today about repealing the healthcare system. i heard that your plan is an awful lot like president obama's plan. why are you so anxious to repeal this? before i talked about the plan, i spent a moment talking about what we did in massachusetts. in my view his plan does not work properly. looking get that groundwork laid. 100,000 feet and talking about the country and what makes america work because when the founders got together and decided what kind of nation we'd be, the first decision they face
side whether we would be a nation governed by a strong central government, or a king-like structure, that would tell us how to live our lives, what to do with our lives, what to make and how to make it, or if we would be a nation guided by the aspirations of individuals and they chose the latter. the people of america are sovereign, free to chose not only our elected representatives but the freedom to chose our life course, our enterprises. that choice to be a free enterprise nation meant that people all over the world seeking freedom, seeking to pursue the dreams of their youth wanted to come to this country. we are a nation of innovators, pioneers, creators. it is what's propelled us to be the most powerful economy in the world but this wasn't the only decision that the founders faced. they also had the question of whether america would be guided governmentally primarily at the
federal level or instead at the state level, whether the interaction citizens had in education, in healthcare and so forth, would be driven by the federal government or the state government and in that case they also made an unusual choice relative to our european heritage, they said, we'll be a federalist system, meaning a state power system, so the 10th amendment was specifically written to limit the powers of the federal government and states retained most of the rights and responsibilities that affected citizens from day to day. the states, in the words much justice brandeis, would be the laboratories of democracy, they would try things and we would learn from one another. they would also compete with one another so the dynamic that would prepel our economy, competition and freedom, would propel learning between the states. the states would be responsive to the people that were closest to them and the solutions could be tailored to fit the needs of people of different states.
people ask, what are the differences between the states? my experience is that healthcare delivery in massachusetts may be different than healthcare in montana or mississippi or other places in the country and so people could tailor their programs and their needs based upon the needs of the citizens, and finally, that model would had lead america to have states that were more efficient, more effective, and more productive than if we had a one-size-fits-all system. i believe that the obama administration fundamentally distrusts free enterprise and distrusts the idea that states are where the power resides. the most recent decision was the decision made by the nlrb to decide that boeing can't locate a factory in south carolina. it was a power grab from states with the federal government
saying we know better than states. that was the most recent example and i think the most egregious example of this distrust was the obama care plan itself. our plan was a state solution to a state problem and his is a power grab by the federal government to put in place a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation. i know that some of my more liberal friends don't find that a compelling difference, but those of us who believe that the decision to make america a federalist system was not just a throw-away decision, but an important fundamental element of what makes america such a successful nation and that was something which, of course, is lost in obama care. but when i ask people what they dislike most about the president's plan, what i typically hear is they say, obama care represents a government takeover of healthcare and i don't like it.
and i think they're right. what we were doing in our state was quite different than that, it was a more modest proposal. we weren't trying to get government to take over healthcare, instead, we were trying to find a way for people who didn't have insurance to be insured and also people that did have insurance wouldn't have to worry they would lose their insurance if they lost their jobs, especially if they developed a condition or a sickness during the time that they were insured. another difference, during obama care, taxes were raised $500 billion over 10 years. we didn't raise taxes. and there were also $500 billion in medicare cuts not to bring down the cost of medicare and make the federal budget more balanced, but instead to fund obama care. now, this were some similarities.
and one similarity that i know brothers people a lot is the fact that there is a mandate in the massachusetts plan that i put in place and let me tell you why this is a mandate in our plan. what we found in my state was that we had a number of citizens who recognized that they could get healthcare even though they didn't have insurance. that's actually true in most states. if you don't have insurance and you develop a serious illness of some kind -- cancer or heart attack, you can get emergency care. you may not get the preventive care you need, you may not get all the follow-up care you need, but depending on the state and the circumstances, you can get care without insurance and many citizens who could afford insurance having learned they could get care for free were saying, i'm not going to buy insurance. if i'm healthy and strong, why would i get insurance because if something really bad happens to me, if i get cancer or something awful, i can go to the hospital
and i'll get treated for free and this was a free-rider problem. it wasn't a large number but a growing number and we found in our state we were spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year giving out care to people, many of whom could afford to buy their own insurance. this free rider problem was a real issue so we said, you know, we got really three choices and most states have three choices. the ones we saw were these. first, we could say to those people who could have afforded insurance that didn't get it and who, let's say, had a heart attack, we're sorry, we're not going to treat you. that, however, goes against the hippocratic oath and it's against federal law. you're required to treat those people so that's really not an option. the next option is the one that was being exercised in my state. we had the taxpayers pay for them. we were spending hundreds of millions of dollars, we were mandating to the taxpayers,
you've got to take care of these people, we're adding it to your insurance premium or your tax bill, but you're going to pay for these folks and we said somehow that's a big government approach, that government and taxpayers are going to give to people something they should be able to get for themselves so we chose the last alternative, which is to insist on personal responsibility and to say to folks who could afford to buy insurance, either buy insurance yourself, or pay your own way, and ultimately the bill that we passed was the bill said that, either have insurance or we're going to charge you for the cost of the fact that the state is going to have to cover you if. if you get seriously ill and the maximum is $120 a month, obviously less than the cost of insurance, but a big incentive for people to be insured. this, under the 10th amendment, was a state decision. other states can take a different choice, but the state
decision we took was to insist upon personal responsibility. now, let me tell you for a moment about why it is that we decided to go ahead and put in place our plan. first of all, i'll note that about 94% of our population in state was insured but we put this plan in place. that 94%, there was no change in their insurance policies, the program remained the same so we're dealing with that last 6% that wasn't insured but that last 6% sounds like a small percentage, only 6%, but that's half a million people. i don't know how many people in this room have lived without health insurance, but i have not only family members but dear friends who have lived at one time or another without health insurance. it is a frightening experience. you wonder, what happens, if i get ill or more seriously, what happens if my child get ill?
i had half a million people who i was elected to serve who were frightened because they didn't have insurance. as a result of the plan we put in place, about 400,000 of them are now insured, and i'm pleased with the fact that we were able to accomplish that. the other people who have insurance, the 94%, there's another feature for them, they don't have to worry about losing insurance if they change jobs or develop a serious condition and then change jobs because under our plan, everybody in the state is able to get affordable insurance. i also note, there's no government insurance here. we didn't create a government insurance program or a government policy that people got. no, no, we gave people a premium support program where they could buy their own private insurance of their choice and for the poor, we helped them with support. the analysis of what the cost of the program would be was carried
out by a group called the massachusetts taxpayers foundation. they're an independent think tank funded largely by business interests. they looked at the massachusetts healthcare system after reform and they concluded this -- that the cost of the system is relatively modest and that it costs less than 1% per year of the state budget. now, that's not free, by any means, but it's not what some people might have thought. some people might think, did this cost half your state budget? 25%? 10%? no, it cost less than 1% of the state budget and, by the way, i think that's too much. if you were governor, i would get it down to zero. because we were already paying for people who were getting free care. i wanted to limit how much we were going to pay in the future to that amount we had already been paying. all these things we did without a tax increase. now, i know that with that
summary about what we did and its differences with president obama's plan, that that explanation is not going to satisfy everybody, and i respect the views of those who think we took the wrong course and think we should have taken a different course. i also recognize that a lot of pundits around the nation are saying i should stand up and say this whole thing was a mistake, it was a boneheaded idea and i should admit it was a mistake and walk away and i presume that if i did that, a lot of folks would think it would be good for me politically. but it wouldn't be honest. i did what i believed was right for the people of my state and i'm going to describe to you what i think would be right for the people of united states, which is quite a different plan. now, i'm going to turn to repeal and replace and go back to the question, again, why repeal? i told you some of the things i didn't like about the
president's plan. let me give you some more and i'm going to start with just an overview, again, of our healthcare system and i know we have doctors and professionals in the medical community here so you'd probably elaborate on this but a couple of thoughts. there are major advantages of our healthcare system relative to those in other nations of the world. i believe we have the highest quality healthcare in the world. we provide to our consumers an extraordinary level of choice and freedom. we attract to the profession the best and brightest from among our population and we're the most innovative place in the world for medical technologies and drugs and instruments and devices and so forth. we do, however, have some disadvantages in our system. it is a high-cost system. it does not have, by and large, portable insurance. people are worried they might lose their insurance if they change jobs. we have about 50 million people that don't have coverage and when i say tax discrimination, what i'm referring to there, is the individuals that want to buy insurance on their own are treated differently under our
tax code than people working for a big company where the company buys the insurance for them. that's tax discrimination. now, unfortunately, the president's plan, at least in my view, detracts from some of the best things of the american healthcare system. it hurts the quality of healthcare by having healthcare more dominated by government. it also reduces consumer choice by having government play a bigger role in deciding what insurance you can get and what will be covered under your insurance. it repels the best and brightest. now, i know there's some doctors in the room and so i'm not going to ask for witnesses here, but my son went into medical school and he talked to a -- there are no romney doctors in my immediate family so he talked to a number of people who were doctors and he said, what do you think about going into medicine and almost without exception they said, don't do it, unless you really, really love it, my goodness, this is the toughest
profession to go into because of what's happening by virtue of hand innt's heavy medicine. there's no question in my view but the president's plan will tend to repel people from coming into the medical profession. and finally, i'm afraid that the obama reforms discourage innovation. heck, when you tax people who are developing devices and instruments that are used in medicine, they're going to have less funds to invest and create new innovations. but there's more wrongs with the president's plan. i believe it's an economic nightmare. it does not lower healthcare cost overall in our system. raises taxes, it diverts medicare funds, and it kills jobs. let me tell you, as i go around the country and talk to business people and i was one for 25 years, when you explain and when they understand the implications of the obama care program on
them, they're less likely to hire people. they're concerned about the cost of obama care on their ability to hire and train workers. it kills jobs. it is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why this recession has taken so long to get out of and why we have 20 million americans unemployed, underemployed, or have ceased looking for work. i don't like the massive federal spending. i don't like the power grab from the states. i don't like the massive federal bureaucracy. the republican joint congressional committee tried to chart out how obama care works. prepare yourself. this is their slide. that is not a pretty picture. and suggest to me why it is people are a little concerned about getting into the healthcare profession. so, for all those reasons, if i were lucky enough to be in the white house in the position of leadership, on the first day i would issue an executive order paving the way for obama care
waivers to be given to all 50 states and then i'd go to work with congress to make sure we could repeal obama care. but now let's look at what i would do instead. you won't be surprised here, because what i'm going to describe to you is basically the same structure that i described four years ago when i was running for president. i should note, by the way, that that was a time when my massachusetts healthcare plan was considered at least by me to be an asset politically. i hear laughter in the room. that's not the case now. but you will note that despite the fact that it's gone from being seen as an asset to being seen as a liability politically, that the plan i'm going to describe for you is the same. i'm not adjusting the plan to reflect the sentiment, the political sentiment. the plan, in fact, starts with the same elements, and let me begin with what i consider the objectivess of my plan. one is, do no harm.
two, strengthen the current healthcare system by lowering costs and improving quality, by providing portability -- the ability to know that you're going to keep your insurance if you change jobs -- improve consumer choice, and expand healthcare by dealing with those individuals who have pre-existing conditions fairly, and provide greater access to care for those that are low-income or uninsured. five principles -- restore states to leadership, empower individuals to purchase their own insurance, focus our federal regulation as opposed to making it over bureaucratic, reform the medical liability system, and introduce market forces to healthcare to the extent possible. one by one, restore to the states the responsibility and the resources to care for their own poor, their own uninsured, and their chronically ill. the state is the best place to determine who's poor. the state is the best place to
determine what's the best way to help those poor. and so i would, therefore, block grant to the states medicaid funds and so-called dish payments, disproportionate payments, to the states and say, states, you use these moneys as you feel appropriate to care for your own poor. i'd limit the federal standards to those that were absolutely necessary. states, of course, will experiment and learn from one another and they'll have flexibility to deal with the uninsured in the way they think best. some will decide they want to understand the role of charity in their state and can it be expanded. others will say, let's put in place exchanges like we did in massachusetts, some will put in place subsidies for private coverage. there will also be flexibility to deal with a chronically ill population with high-risk pools and reinsurance plans and high-risk adjustments. these ideas will be tried out and are now being tried out by
various states until which point obama care was passed because most of that was put on ice because the federal government took over. second, empower individual ownership. i think this is critical. i would make sure we give the same tax treatment to individuals who buy insurance that we give to individuals who get insurance from their big employer. what would that do? in a lot of cases, an individual is going to say, you know what, general motors or ford or chrysler, instead of taking your plan, i want to buy my own plan so you give me the amount of that you're paying for blue cross-blue shield here and let me pick my own plan from blue cross or anybody else i want and when that happens, you'll find people choosing plans that fit their needs rather than plans that have been put in place by the human resources department of a big corporation. this gets greater consumer choice so that people can buy what they want, not just what their employer wants to give them. it promotes portability.
why? because if i own my own healthcare insurance, i don't lose it if i change jobs. i'm continuously insured from job to job and by virtue of that fact and the fact that i'm choosing what i want myself, not just what is given to me, the cost of health insurance and the choices that people make, in my view, is likely to come down. focus federal regulation. we got to make the markets work better. a couple of common failures i'd go after, insure the individuals with pre-existing conditions who are continuously covered for some specified period. may not be denied coverage. so you're not going to say to somebody who is age 55 and they have a heart attack and they want insurance, that doesn't work very well but if you had insurance for 10 years, because of that continuous insurance, you can continue to be covered.
eliminate counterproductive federal constraints, removing barriers from the sale of superior products across state lines and allow providers to design insurance plans that meet the needs of consumers across state lines. reforming liability. i don't have to tell you about the burden of our medical liability system on our healthcare system. we should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and provide innovation grants for state reforms like health courts, alternative dispute resolution and so forth. market forces. i'd like to make healthcare work more like a market and less like a government agency. i'd like to make health savings accounts which really empower the consumer far more efficient and effective by such things as permitting health saving account funds to be used to pay the insurance premiums, which isn't allowed today. i also like the new innovations
in insurance like co-insurance. we were talking earlier with members of the team here about value-based insurance products where co-insurance, for those not familiar with the term, we've all heard of copays where you pay $10 for an office visit. co-insurance would say, i'm paying 10% of my total bill. when that happens, i, as a consumer, care about the cost of the total bill, i care about the quality of the provider and what the total bill would be and that kind of product, i believe, would lower premiums and give people a greater stake in thinking about the cost and quality of the care they're seeking. i like the idea of a consumer reports type approach where "consumer reports" itself or others like it would rank different insurance programs around the country and which ones provide the best coverage for the best value. i'd like to facilitate information technology interoperability among providers and establish cost and quality and finally -- i
know a number of you are doing this in the health community -- promoting alternatives to fee for service with bundled rates. i think we've done what i suggested at the beginning. we haven't done harm, i think we strengthened healthcare and we've expanded healthcare to those that don't have it. let me mention more on healthcare costs. how do we get healthcare costs down? one, we, for the first time, allow individuals to purchase insurance as an individual without being penalized on a tax basis. two, we're going to introduce market dynamics where consumers care what something costs, as i just described. we're going to reform the medical malpractice system to keep the cost down in defense of medicine. providers will have an incentive in the non-fee-for-service approach that i've described for quality, not just quantity. medicaid ceases being an open checkbook for states to say i'm going to expand more people on
medicaid because the federal government picks up half the bill. and there will be greater competition across state lines as people are able to buy insurance from other places and join into purchasing alliances. let me note that there is more to come, that there are additional specifics that you expect from me and they'll be coming. i also note that there's going to be a lot that you're going to expect from me on medicare reforms and that's a big part of healthcare and will have an enormous impact on the overall system. let me make a couple of points. one is, i applaud the fact that representative ryan put forward a plan to keep medicare solvent. that's got to be our primary objective, and to keep our country fiscally solvent, as well. and he's also added choice to his plan and inserted market dynamics, and i'll note that while i haven't introduced my own plan today, will in the future, it's not going to be the ryan plan, but it shares many of the same objectives. let me conclude by summarizing
differences between the output of president obama's plan and my plan. and as you might imagine, the comparison will be favorable in my direction. [laughter] first, obama care raises taxes. i don't. he diverts medicare for obama care. we do not divert medicare for a healthcare plan. his creates massive new federal his reduces consumer choice. i dramatically increase consumer choice. his, i believe, will raise health care costs. mine lowers health care costs. his ininvolves massive government spending. mine reduces government spending.
his re-- increases mandates on individuals and on states. my includes no mandates. we let the states create their own plans. his is dependent on the federal government deciding who's poor and how to insurance them. mine gives the states the responsibility. his discriminates on a tax basis against individuals and small businesses, by the way, where individuals often don't get coverage from their employer. mine provides for tax fairness. his includes overly broad preexisting rules. mine involves fair preexisting elements. i've liked what we've worked on and put together. if i'm the nominee on the republican side of the aisle and i get the chance to debate president obama, this is what we're going to be talking about, who has a better plan for america? which list is the more favorable list for the american people?
and i'm confident that when considering those two plans, the american people will say the mitt romney u.s. reforms is a lot better than obama care. thanks so much. good to be with you today. [applause] thank you. now, let me turn to you and get questions, advice. my guess is this is an audience that could ask questions i couldn't answer. that's not the only audience where that's the case but if you have some suggestions or questions or advice i'd be happy to hear it. please. [inaudible] >> what's to keep states from having a race to the bottom is the question? the answer is the people of that state are going to vote out of office the people that don't do
a good job. states a -- are competing. the great thing about the federalist system where states have powers and responsibilities and rights is the states compete for businesses, for high indicated individuals, for a work force. we're competing with one another. i have to tell you my favorite story about state competition. when i was recently elected governor, my friend arnold schwarzenegger came to my state and put up billboards saying come to california. he was poaching jobs for my state. so i put up billboards in his state. and had me in a t-shirt going like this. it said smaller muscles but lower taxes. [laughter] so we're competing and i also think there's a recognition in this country that-year a grand
and generous people. the idea that we would ever say to people tough luck. you're poor, your not going to have health care. that's not american. we're going to care for one another. i'm proud of the fact that in our state when we faced real challenges and a half a million real people without insurance and a lot more concerned about what would happen their -- with their jobs, we didn't just say it's a problem that no one can solve. we need to help people. we need to do our best. by the way, what we did wasn't perfect. there have been some problems. things done at the time i didn't like. i vetoed and got overridden. but overall am i proud of the fact that we did our best for our people and we got people insured? absolutely. thank you. yes, sir. >> i have a question on this free rider. >> yeah. >> [inaudible] and why not have
a part of the law state that if you can't afford insurance and you have to go to the hospital and have something done that the hospital could put a lien on your property in order to cover their costs? >> there are differences among states about how to deal with people that don't have insurance and my guess is that fowl -- you'll find in some states more aggressive efforts on the part of hospitals to collect from individuals who get free care. there was an article yesterday in "usa today" that said there's about -- i think 40-plus billion dollars of free care given out by hospitals in america and it said a tiny percent was ever collected. if someone has, for instance, a
$200,000 hospital bill it's not going to ever get collected. and there are people who from time to time develop conditions that require those huge costs. it is, in my view, the first responsibility of the provider to go after those people who are taking advantage of the people. there's some merit in which you'd say how states would approach that how we could learn from one another. she's terrific. thanks for the question. >> you talk about the quality of health care in america and how good it is -- [inaudible] so it's going to be a battle. but if we compare ourselves across the world, our country -- [inaudible] we have to have that conversation in the same context. >> you are absolutely right. i sort of glossed over this idea
of co-insurance and owning your insurance and value-based insurance benefits, but those concepts underscore a conviction i have that one of the challenges in our current system is that we don't incentivize people to live on a healthy basis. if you're healthy and trying to get more healthy, your health insurance bill is the same as a person who just throws in the towel. there's no invent -- incentive. g. skemplet safe way have found incentives to get people to go to regular physical classes, get check-ups and so on. that makes a lot of sense. think about the imply occasions of a system where the majority of us get our insurance from the company we work for. there's nothing wrong with that. but one of the implications is if people change jobs every three or four years on average
that the insurance company knows they're only going to cover you for, on average, three or four years then you're going to go somewhere else. so they don't have a huge incentive to work with you to get healthy. if, instead, you purchase your own policy and you get the tax treatment that your company used to get, now that insurance company says i'm probably going to have that patient for the rest of their life. i want to encourage them to do things like get regular check-ups and take high blood pressure medication. i'm going to follow them, maybe even assign a caseworker to work with them. because the incentives for the first timer -- instead of insurance companies saying how can i dump the sick people and cut off their coverage? instead it's like this is my patient, my customer. i'm competing for customers around the nation and i'm going
to work to keep them healthier. i think by opening the doorway as i have to individuals buying their own insurance and not being discriminated against for having done so that you're going to see a change in the way we we think about wellness and care. i sure hope so. yes, ma'am? >> [inaudible] >> you know, as you describe things to learn from other countries, one of the features that i find interesting is that you really can learn from other countries, even those whose health systems you really don't like. and i would look, for instance, at france and switzerland. there's not a lot i want to borrow from france and
switzerland. but their spending on health care as a percentage as an economy ask about six whole points lower than ours. one of the reasons i'm convinced is that they require people to participate with co-insurance. which is that if you go to a hospital in france for elective surgery, you're responsible for 20% of the bill. if that's the case, you're probably going to check around at different hospitals. in our country, if you're going to go to, let's say, get a knee replacement. there's no reason to check around, you have a $1,000 deductible. that's what you're going to pay. everything else is free. so if the hospital is going to charge 20,000 or 40,000, makes no difference to you. so having people with health savings accounts in my opinion is one of the best ways to
create that incentive. those kinds of ideas i think we can borrow from other countries. by the way, if there are wellness approaches that other countries have that could encourage to us be even more quality oriented and cost first quarter, quoting ross perot, i'm all ears. thank you. i'll take one more. yes, sir. >> [inaudible] >> if i go back to lowering costs, the number of one -- well, there's quite a long list. let me go through one by one. not having states have an open checkbook on the federal account through medicaid. number two, having people buy the insurance they want as opposed to being given a policy that's much more in, some cases, much more expensive than they
want or need. that helps bring down the cost. having individuals have personal interest in what the cost is of a procedure they're going to get. think about a health care system like a car. what would happen if an automobile -- you paid a $1,000 deductible to buy a car. that was it. you paid $1,000 and the rest was free. anything else you got above that there was no cost. you paid a deductible and the salesperson was compensated on the more expensive car they've they give you the more they make. so you buy the car and the salesperson gets paid on the more they do. we'd all be driving mercedes, ferrari, corvettes, cadillacs and license. i got to be fair here, right? [laughter] so that's what we have in health care. we have a setting under the way
we design our insurance benefits and the way the insurance system has evolved through an employer-based system. people pay a deductible and then the rest is free. so people don't have an interest in seeing how much something costs. and i'll tell you, markets don't work if the consumer has no interest in the price. you want the consumer, one, to care about how much it costs and number two, to care about the quality and that's the most powerful dine im-- dynamic for bringing down the cost of health care. to get health care to work like a markets. where the consumer cares what the cost is. i don't mean to suggest that doctors are like salesmen and saleswomen. but where the provider has an incentive to keep you healthy as opposed to doing more things to you. and where you have a medical liability problem like we do in this country where doctors are say i have so -- do all kinds of
stuff i don't think is necessary but to protect me from a possible lawsuit -- then you're building on cost. everything in our system. over the decades we've created a system which the world looks at as out of control. we spend almost 18% of our economy on health care. the next highest in the world i believe is 6%. a 6% gap in g.d.p. our total defense budget is 4%. we can maintain the superb quality we have and the choice that we have at attracting the best and brightest into the field by changing the way health care works to make it more like a market. and i've suggested ways i think that can happen. i have learned from experience that one person and one government, the federal government, shouldn't impose their will on everybody else. and what i like about what i've described here is allowing 50 states to create their own
approaches to the needs of their people and as states compete, voters in those states will vote up the people that didn't have good ideas and vote in the people with better ideas and we'll end up with a system that's more effective, that gives people better care. thanks so much. it's good to be with you today. [applause] good to see you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> thank you for being here again. hi. >> great job. >> thank you. thank you. good to see you. thank you. a double doze. [laughter] doctor?
>> earlier this week, former house speaker newt gingrich kicked off his presidential run on facebook. he will be speaking at the republican convention in macon. you can watch it live on c-span beginning at 7:15 p.m. eastern time. coming up on c-span, the leader of libya's opposition to gaddafi speaks at the brookings institution. he looks at the war on afghanistan. executives from the largest oil companies testify about gas prices at a senate hearing. >> follow the house and senate
when you want. congressional cronk chronicle makes it easy to find information about your elected officials. video of house and senate sections and progress of bills and votes. congressional chronicle at c-span.org/congress. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, former massachusetts governor and presidential candidate michael ducaucus on michael coolidge. a look back at jimmy carter. and richard cote. we'll be live from mississippi for the 50th anniversary to have freedom riders. >> the interim prime minister to
have libyan opposition today expressed his hope that gaddafi's regime could fall apart within weeks. he said aid is needed by the opposition in order to address humanitarian needs. he spoke at the brookings institution in washington one day after meeting with members of congress. this is an hour. immediately l forces. he spoke at the brookings institution in washington for about an hour. >> well, good morning. welcome to brookings. i am ken pollack, the director for the summer of middle east policy at the brookings institution, and i'm absolutely delighted to see you all here today. first, before we begin our program, let me ask everyone to please make sure that all of your cell phones, for any of you who still keep beepers or any other electronic devices, ipads or what have you are all silenced today. i am delighted to have you all
here today because we are welcoming a very special speaker to our statesman's forum here at the brookings institution. i know he doesn't need a very long introduction because of course he is the reason that you all are here. but nevertheless, i am delighted to welcome dr. mahmoud gibril elwarfelly, the interim prime minister of the transitional national council of libya to the brookings institution today. for those of you notamiliar with him, dr. gibril, the prime minister holds a master's degree in political science and a doctorate in strategic planning from the university of pittsburgh. from 2007 to 2009 he served as a the cir of the national econom development board in libya and led the national planning council. he has quite a bit of private sector experience, including leading a regional libya-based consulta consultantcy. we will begin with prepared remarks from the prime minister
and then he and i will sit and i will ask him some of the most basic questions and then we'll have an opportunity to take some questions from the audience as well. with that bit of introduction, mr. prime minister, the brookings podium is all yours. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. i'm deleted to be here and honored. thank you for hosting me this morning. if you allow me, i would like to start, since there is a concern of time by giving a broader context of what is happening in libya and the middle east in general. i would add at the beginning, what is taking place is a natural product of the globalization process that started in the mid '80s. we have witnessed some results from the financial and economic scene and we are witnessing the new global cultural paradigm of paying off some real concrete results in the middle east. i would say that what happened
in libya cannot be separated from what happening in egypt, from what is happening in tunisia and what is taking place in yemen and what is taking place in syria. and i would also argue that this is irreversible trend, a new global culture of paradigm based on global values, common values, sharedy many young people in the world. more involved with in the political process, more part anticipator to of any country in the middle east. therefore, i would say that this trend would continue to make some sound effects on our daily lives in the years to come. i started with this notice just
to establish from the very beginning that there is a strategic interest for the unitedtates and all countries of the world to pay close attention to this phenomenon. this is a new trend and it's an irreversible trend, which means i would argue that even the cognitive framework of analyzing and looking at foreign policy should be revisited. that frame -- cognitive framework of foreign policy which was inherited after world r ii, it was revised slightly after the collapse of the soviet union. now we are facing new phenomena where the communication process is the name of the game, where knowledge is spreading like hell, you know. it's well-known that knowledge is duplicated now every seven years, human knowledge. by 2025 it's going to be duplicated in just 76 days. so this speedy thing will
reflectresults in the educational systems, in communication systems, and the mass communication that took place, that revolution is going to aect our lives more and more. either in terms of knowledge, in terms of behavior, in terms of organizational structure that are needed to face this phenomena. having said this theoretical framework, just to help me introduce the libyan picture, because when the present uprising in libya, the 17th, actually it started two days earlier, the 17th of february is the actual start of the revolution. when it took place, those young dsook to the seets peacefully, looking for democratic structure, democratic government structure, looking for a dignified life, looking for a better future, because they have been living for 42 years, them and their parents under a dictatorshi a tyrant regime which deprived them of
every opportunity to have a dignified life. there is no better education. there is no medical services. all failure after failure, all developmental projects that have been introduced during those 42 years. it's enough to say that the unemployment, for instance, exceeds 50% in a country for which a population does not 6,300,000 people with the vast amount of wealth because of the oil revenues. so there is a sense of deprivation, a sense of despr. if we couple that with this international communication revolution taken place, which is reflected in the facebooks, internet, twitter and everything, so people, they don't have a need to get into a party or into some sort of association that communication is taking place naturally. they don't need space and they don't need time. they can't communicate any time and they don't have any space. to meet, you know.
therefore, there was some sort of bigger picture that those people who took to the streets the tunisia and in egypt and in libya, they al constitute one big party. that's the party of the future, you know. they are all looking for same future, calling for the same type of slogans because they are inspired by the same cognitive mind, the sameew system of values. unfortunately, the regime on the other side was looking at the picture differently. the same all the story that while using repressive measures, counting that the complex of fear is there so itan be capitalized. just fighting in air would do the trick. to the surprise of the regime and to the ignorance of the regime also, this new generation
has no fear whatsoever because the socialization process which brought about the new value system is a completely different one than the socialization process would be exposed to all generation where fear as a value is the center of conflict that we all suffer from. therefore, the regime tried to benefit from the experience of tunisia and egypt, not to give any concessions, not to negotiate, fire live ammunition from the very beginning. that was the biggest mistake. because the moment they started firing live ammunition, that first group of deaths that took place were the few of the real revolution. it ignited more coming to the streets, more people coming to the streets, and then a different strata of society were
marching into the streets and prest against this man slaughtering that started taking place. i would argue in a quick note that the regime realized from the first week that they do not have enough personnel to put down that uprising, and therefore they resorted into something which i call wicked, and to be honest, very brilliant. they tried to go for more killing because more killing will call for the international community to intervene. and if the international community intervenes, then gadhafi will tell them the story from being libyan against gadhafi and libys led by gadhafi against international foreign powers. this is the card he is playing right now by hitting hardly. and ground troops on the ground, you know, trng to call for liberation against those foreign powers.
anyhow, for us in the tnc, realizing this fact, we ted from the very beginning to create some sort of structure just to assure the outside world that what gadhafi is saying about civil war, about the vacuum, th illegal immigration of africa and threatening the security of europe, about the shortage of oil, all those fears about al qaeda, all those fears that he's trying to project to the outside world to protect him from this popular revolution, we were urged and were compelled to intervene immediately and call for the establishment of the tnc, the purpose of which is to talk to the outside rld with one voice, that libya is one. it was in the past one country and it's now one country and will remaiso in the future. one country, one people, one history, and one future with one capital, which is tripoli,
because he started playing the card of partition from the very beginning, scaring the libyan people on the other side of the country that those people, the libyans coming from the east are going to occupy you and do this and do that, you know. therefore to clarify one of the misunderstandings circulating in in the media, the tnc is an administrative organ managing thisituation for the libyan people until the fall of the regime. because the political question of who should rule libya and how he or she should rule it, this is for the libyan people to decide through a political democratic process based on constitutional grounds, based on active civil society, based on equal rights and national human rights for everybody. then, some other questions started to circulate. are we safe with this group?
we note some cracks and some disagreements within this body. i would like to assure everybody that tnc first of all represents the whole libyan territory. just two days ago, last meeting which was convened in abu dhabi with 27 representatives from local -- from the western part of the country and the southern part of the country, they just travelled this morning to benghazi to join the tnc to prove that this is a national umbrella encompassing all the libyan territory and all libyan regimes. the second thing, we started expanding the executive body of the tnc and now we are 14 ministries and the executive body of that tnc trying to deliver every service and every commodity that our people might need during this critical times of our history.
unfortunately, we are facing a very acute, acute financial problem because of the frozen assets that we have in different european countries and in the united states. so i would like to seize this opportunity and to call on the united states administration to help us as they helped us, president obama particularly, in particular, you know, has called for the end of the legitimacy of the regime, that this regime lost its legitimacy and should leave. this was very inspiring to many libyan people that they are not alone in their fight against dictatorship, you know. so i want to thank him for that call and i want to thank all the free world that stood by us in this fight. now as we move a little further to the military situation, i woullikeo clarify something. this revolution started as a peaceful revolution.
it's not an armed struggle against a tyranny or again another army. our struggle was forced upon us because of this genocide which was taking place, this killing machine was slaughtering people day and night by the thousands. the expectation and estimate was that over 11,000 people died and during those 12 weeks of manslaughtering. we still have exodus going on, you know. too many people are fleeing their country and going to the tunisia and to the egyptian borders. the united nations just yesterday, before yesterday released its last report saying over 750,000 libyan people fled their country. this never happened in our history before. we despite all this agony and this painful human tragedy were very much optimistic about the
future. our people in misrata, they managed with those like machine guns against this mighty military machine to liberate their city and they are marching west toward tripoli. those towns in the western mountain, all western mountain towns are liberated now, and they are hoping to break the siege of thatountain to march towards tripoli. active uprises started to appear in the capital city of tripoli itself during the last week and the week before. so we are very optimistic at people started to gain confidence, take things in their hands. military are improving and gaining grounds. this is against all allegations circulating that there ia stalemate case on the ground. at's not the case at all, you know. two, we are much better today thanks to gadhafi because they give us enough time to mature and talk to each other and develop a common understanding, a common vision for the future,
a common vision for development, a common vision for a road map, even after the fall of the regime, what should be done and concrete steps. this is due to the fact that we have enough time despite this agony to talk to each other, to have better time to reorganize ourselves to regroup and divide our responsibility and try to carry it properly. i think there is a lot at stake for the united states and free world to cave to the savior of libya, because libya could serve as a model. not only for other arab revotions such as egypt and tunisia, syria, yemen, but i think it could serve as a mod for africa. and i am emphasizing africa in particular because africa will be the most expanding continent inhe next 55 years. africans would be marching towards europe.
more than 359 million africans will be jobless by the year 2050. if we manage to create a democratic modern successful development in modern libya, this would be an oasis of peace an oasis, a real hub of development that could be followed and imitated by too many african countries. libya can be the gate of development, bridging africa with europe, which would be shrinking, by th way, europe by 2050 will be less 72 million people. so i think the strategically solution for development and for peace and stability will be libya serving as a model for other arab countries who are witnessing revolutions not right now and developmental problem in the african continent. thank you very much for listening, and i will be ready to takyour questions. thank you. [ applause ]
>> thank you, mr. prime minister, for that. that was a great way to start us off. i think you've laid a very nice foundation. there are a few questions at i would like to ask you that i think are foremost in americans' mind before we open it up to the audience. i think the first one is effectively where you ended your remarks. you talked about the military situation. you talked about the fact that most americans have the perception that the military situation in libya notwithstanding today's very important and very hopeful events, that there is a general sense that the military situation is bogged down into a stalemate.
and i think that it would be very helpful for americans to understand how you and how the transitional national council are thinking about a strategy for bringing ts war to a successful conclusion. >> okay. first of all, i disagree that there is a military stalemate on the ground. first of all, if we look at it from -- let me use the terminology, let us get out of the box here. we've en asking this question several times, that you are not able as a freedom fighter to settle this conflict militarily. and i always reply by saying the regime is not able to settle militarily, not the freedom fighters, because the regime with this mighty military power, heavy tanks, armored vehicles, and at the beginning even jets,
airplanes against some civilians with just like machine guns. never the regime for 12 continuous weeks that could not settle this militarily. not only this, the freedom fighters are marching towards tripoli. so as i say on different occasions, i think when there is a conflict between the right of power and the power of right, the power of right always prevails. because those people have will, have determination, and they have nothing to lose, you know. and they elected to exercise their right to die, to live here. they want to die to live. and there is nothing, there is no defense against that, you know. so i'm optimistic that there is no stalemate. people are marching, gaining more confidence, they are getting better experienced. they are gaining more ground, more organization. i think that few coming weeks
we'll witness more grounds, you know, to be gained by the freedom fighters. regarding the strategy of solving this issue, i would say that gadhafi has the tools right now, the power to kill and the power to bribe. i think paralyzing his power to kill is a must, you know, for any political solution to be reasonably ve a chance of being a base for negotiation. without having that and e need in the near future, i would say any political solution will not be looked at by the regime. talking about cease fire without being part of a continuous political press, leading to the departure of gadhafi and his regime actually is a partition of the country, which we refuse, we reject, you know.
as we say, the main purpose of establishing the tnc was to insist on the libyan unity in terms of territory, people, geography, libya is one and will remain one. therefore, i would say that there e four types o pressure. positive pressures. there are better protection of civilians, better application 1973 resolution, the militar strikes are hitting command and control. this number one. number two, freedom fighters are gaining more grounds, better confidence in themselves. three, the icc indictment and arrest warrant is about to b out. this is a real political pressure. the early indicators of a real uprising taking place in tripoli itself. all those four elements i would
say are pushing for more squeezing and strangling of the regime. so i would say either an internal crackdown will take place, a total collapse of the regime will be rell rao realized in the next couple of weeks, hopefully. >> i would like to pick up on the point where you mentioned where you talked of a ceasefire, a political solution. is there a political solution to the current -- to the fighting itself? could you imagine a cease fire that you would trust, given gadhafi's history? and what would that look like? take us through what a successful political resolution of this conflict, rather than a military resolution conquest of tripoli by the freedom fighters, what would a political solution look like? what would you need to make that look? >> well, there are some political initiatives on the table right now, you know. there is the african union, what they call the initiative, which
is i would say not a comprehensive political initiative because actually its mainmphasis is the immedte cease fire. without talking about what is next with the ceasefire. and as i said, you know, for such initiative to be a viable base for negotiation, it should include some elements securing that initiative meet the legitimate rights of the libyan people, which was highly, clearly emphasized in the 1970 resolution of the security council. there is also a turkish initiative which was out lately and i think it is more comprehensive and i would say it could serve as a viable overall frame for negotiation. too many things can be clarified during the negotiation process.
that initiative clearly indicated the departure of gadhafi and his regime, which is the strategic objective of this revolution that want to get rid of this tiran anyic dictorship, one that established our role in the country. so i would say that the turk initiative is more comprehensive because it started listing about ten points and it contained some points which are, i think, taking care of both phases. the phase of the cease fire and what implications follow that and then the phase of establishing political leading to the gadhafi departure and his family. we and the council lately are preoccupied developing our own political initiative, which is capitalizing in all initiatives on the table, you know, trying to take 1973 resolution as the
overall frame based in which we can develop something compatible with that resolution and at the same time compatible with the aspirations of our people. >> we heard the news just before we came out that you're going to meeting with president obama. and while i wish that our sessn was going to follow that meeting so that i could ask you what you did sayo him, i'm going to have to content myself by asking you instead, what will you say to the president? in particular, what are you going to tell him about the role that the united states can play? what would you like to see the united states doing? >> well, if i meet president obama, first of all i would really thank him for the role thathe united states has played so far, and i would strongly urge him to play a more active role because there is a lot at stake strategically for the united states if that role is not played properly, you
know. there is a lot to be lost. >> okay. with that cryptic answer, i'll have to content myself. why don't we shift over to the political side. i think one of the great questions that a lot o americans have for you is, how do you plan -- let's say that we can bring the war to a successful close, the regime is gone, and now the libyan people are fully in control of their country. how are you thinking about -- what is the strategyor building a new libyan political system, a new libyan economy, a new libya? because, of course, as we've seen with our own painful experiences in iraq and afghanistan, the reconstruction is the hardest part of any fight and if you don't get started with a strategy and a plan for doing that right from the get-go, coming up with once you've won the victory is often too late. >> i think you're absolutely right. that's why in the council, you know, now for probably three
weeks have established probably three teams, multidisciplinary teams, you know. one team is concerned with the reconstruction of libya after the fall of the regime, such as what happened in kuwait, for instance. the second team is concerned with the social reconciliation process, the south african model. and the third team is concerned with the capacity building, because if we wnt to initiate or establish a government structure after the fall of the regime, then having the right institution and the right skills, the right qualified human resources is a must, you know, to start delivering the necessary service and outcome needed by the libyan people. therefore, i would say that we came up with what we call a road map. it's a transitional road map. after the fall of the regime immediately, the tnc should call
for the conveninof what we call the national congress. the national congress is composed of members of all regions of libya, all cities and towns, taking into consideration the relative demographic weight of each town and city. the function of that national congress is to select the committee which should draft the constitution. that constitution should be laid out for a referendum supervised by observers from the united nations. hang that constitution approved, then the election for first libyan parliament after the victory of the revolution will bin place, you know. two months after we finish the parliamentary elections, the presidential election should be there. during this period there should be an interim government. that interim government is a
mixture of members of tnc. some elements, techno kratt -- technocratic regime, especially financial, economic because these are vital functions that we need. we know who is who a where are the background of everything, the history of everything. there should be two or three elements from security, two or three elements from military officers, one judge from the supreme court, and a group from a civil society and social leaders, you know. the name of the game here is two things, you know. one, inclusion. we have to include everybody just to establish legitimacy of that interim government. two, which is more important, to prevent any chance for chaos and disorder to take place, such as what happened in iraq.
hopefully this theoretical map can be realized after the fall of the regime. >> thank you, prime minister. i have to say after listening to you sketch it out, youe clearly well ahead of where the united states was as we were engaging in our wars in iraq and afghanistan. by that light alone, you've already bested us. why don't we open things up to the audience and take some questions there. why don't we start right here. >> mr. prime minister, on the 11th of march, they met with the treasury department and the department of state to talk about the release of the funds and to talk about recognition. here we are two months later and there's been no release of funds and no recognition and how long will the regime last absent these two things? >> thank you for raising this
question, you know. honestly, this is a big hurdle that we are cing in the tnc right now. and yesterday andoday will be meeting members of the congress, trying, you know, to urge them, you know, to help us in this regard, you know. we are facing a real crisis, you know, running almost out of money. we have different demands and expectations of our people, either in the eastern part of the country or in the besieged cities which are surrounded by gadhafi or those people, libyan people in the exodus, the tunisian borders. i think their number exceeded now 40,000 people. so we have a human tragedy right now in the making, but it's overshadowed unfortunately by those military activities. but the real tragedy is
underneath, there is a real human tragedy. we tried several proposals here. 1973 resolution imposed restrictions on those assets by being frozen for the libyan government. we are not recognized by the united states so they cannot release the money because we are not reacement officially yet for the old regime. ironically enough, the united states is declaring that the regime lost its legitimacy. so it's not recognizing the other regime by the very fact of this official statement. there is the tnc, what we are trying to say we need a political recognition. by just recognizing this council as the sole legitimate
representative as the libyan people, i'm not talking about a new state and presenc it needs a resolution. even this is not successful, this political resolution. work it out with italy, with france, with some african countries such as giambi, malawi, and they will work it out. there are some other countries so we have a legal problem here. they need a few days. so we have a legal problem here. we tried another proposal by trying to convce them and there is something now when senator kerry yesterday trying declared that he is trying to develop a legislation to release some of that money. i heard that it's around $180 million or something, though as you all know that our frozen assets exceed $54 billion. our estimate of our immediate needs during the next six months
exceeds $3.6 libyan dollars, which equals about $3 billion. so we are trying to convince them, okay, keep those assets and use them as a collatal against which we can have some a credit line just to try to meet the demands of our people. even this so far is not working, but hopefully the appropriation committee is trying to develop another approach of solving this problem. i think that the time is the crux of the matter, because having solved this problem in a matter of four or five weeks might be too late, you know. that's why our finance minister said yesterday that we need this money yesterday, not today, because there is a sense of urgency, real urgency because of this human tragedy in the making right now.
>> from libya human and political development forum. first of all, welcome, mahmoud, to our capital here. and congratulations. my question is that if we have all the nato countries hitting gadhafi almost daily, what is the strategy to get those countries to recognize the national council? >> my understanding, or at least this is what i gather from meetings different political leaders and officials from different countries in need, there is an understanding of recognition as a legal requirement on, you know. trying to convince them of what
i call the political recognition it seems to them is not convincing enough. either they recognize you as a state, you know, better than me. for a state has three requirements, you know, territory, government, and people, you know. for the eastern part we have people and whave territory. if we declare a government, then we're out of state. but if we do that, then we're out of separatist movent. gadhafi will say this is what i've been telling you, that the people in the east want to separate themselves. they want to partition the country. that's why we call this executive view. it's not a government. because of that polical concern. nevertheless, it put us in a squeeze from the outside world that they need the three elements to recognize you, you know. i mean, this is a tricky situation, you know. damn if you do and damn if you
don't, you know. if we need recognition we have to go for a government. if we go for a government, then we have separatists. trying to help them use the tnc as interlocutor for the time, the voice of the libyan people. if you are convinced of the legitimacy of this revolution, of the legitimacy of the demands of those people, then some political steps have to be taken. unfortunately so far some governments came forward and recognized the council. some will do in the near future, and others, they still see that this is a legal restriction that they cannot overcome. >> the lady -- >> yeah, i think my question is about the road map -- >> can you speak a little more into the microphone? >> okay, yeah. do you hear me now? my question is about the road map. if i understand it was asking
for election for freed areas now. i think my question is why does cities like misrata consider it freed areas and why? >> consider it to be what? >> i mean, if the road map according to my understanding asking for election in freed areas now. >> no, no, that's not true. we do not call for elections. we call for elecons only aer the fall of the regime, you know, after the constitution is drafted and it's approved by the libyan people, then we call for the first parliamentary elections. but this is after the whole libya is liberated, you know. so all cities and towns of libya can take part in that electoral process. >> thank you. >> three rows back there is a gentleman. that has been rather eagerly. thank you. >> thank you very much.
my question, dr. gibril, are you happy and satisfied as far as nato is doing their mission or succeeding their mission as far as bringing the gadhafi regime down? and also how much support do you have from the people of libya toda >> well, first of all, regarding nato operations in libya, we are talking about protection of the libyan civilians. and the resolution even states clearly that whatever measures needed should be taken to accomplish that objective and protection of the libyan civilities. i think nato strikes lately are more effective. they are more responsive, more quick. and i think talking to nato
secretary general and their assistant secretary general several times duringhe early days when there were some complaints about the nato's responsiveness or quick responses to the atrocities or genocide taking place against the libyan people, we discovered that decision-making process had a lot to do with the quickness of the response of nato members, you know. i gather that there's about 28 members so it's a committee making a decision. and committee of 28 members is completely different to making a decision of coalition where it's led by one country, you know. so the time span is completely different, you know. but i would say nato now is more active in carrying out the responsibilities of 1973 resolution. regarding the popularity, i would rather talk about the popularity of the tnc, not myself, you know.
tnc represents for the time being the national consensus of the libyan people. and as i said, this is an administrative body which was selected through a consultation process. but when the political question of who should rule libya, that's a political question which should be set through a democratic process, through electoral process. let's keep moving. back a little bit. >> yes. you have mentioned that your forces are marching toward tripoli. do you have any time line that you see you take over that city and the other question is are youeeking some armor assistance from the united states of america? and if you could explain to us what kind of ab countries provided or providing to you in terms of armament assistance.
>> well, when i said that the freedom fighters of misrata are marching to the west. we don't have a timeline, or a timetable because actually those freedom fighters are defending themselves, you know. they are not an army which has plans to do something, you know. they are trying to protect themselves, you know. when i said they are marching, they are trying to join hands with their brother in the next town, and an alliance to protect themselves against this tyrant regime, which is slaughtering them day and night. so it's a process of self-defense. i always try to remind myself and others that this is a peaceful revolution. it's not an armed struggle. and always remind the distinguished members of the media that please don't forget
that this whole uprising started as a peaceful, legitimate process of the libyan pele trying to look for a better future. it was crushed inhumanely. and they are forced, you know to, resort to whatever they can get to defend themselves. so i would rather not get involved in talking about the military plans because it's a military struggle. and the nature of this, this is a peaceful revolution, you know. but it was a squeeze into th tunnel, you know. you just note, you know, when gadhafi stop bombarding during the last week, the whole thing stopped. this is an armament struggle. we wouldn't have a ceasefire, comparative ceasefire. it was a natural instant ceasefire taking place without y initiative, without any negotiation simply because gadhafi'stopped bombarding.
and everything stopped. people are defending themselves. they are returning fire. they are not itiating it, you know. what's the other question, please? >> are you going to seek se arms assistance from america, and what kind of assistance you receiving from the other countries? there are a -- >> we really appreciate the assistance of our arab brothers, starting with the jcc, and then the arab league, who called for the protection of the libyan civilians in the first place. and who called for the no-fly zone, you know. we are seeking every type of assistance from our arab brothers. qatar played a very decisive role in assisting us. the united arab emirates did the same thing. kuwaiti pledged some financial assistance and other economic assistance in trading their experience in the aftermath of the kuwaiti invasion. jordan is pledging all types of
support. morocco the same thing. so i cannot distinguish between one arab country and the other. all of them are recognizing the plight and agony and human tragedy that the libyan people are going through. so i would like to seize this opportunity to thank them for this brotherly stand. >> one more quick question and we'll take it right here in the front. and then i'm going to have to ask everyone to please remain seated after the event because diplomat security needs to help the prime minister out. >> thank you. >> i write the mitchell report. i want to know if you can put a little more flesh on the notion of the vision that you talked out at some point in your remarks. i'm interested to know whether this group that met in doha, and is assembling into these groups
th are focusing on specific tactical and executional challenges for the country, whether you have over and above that enormously important work that you've started with, a picture in your head, collectively, about what libya in the year 2025, what does it look like? what's happening in libya? and importantly, because you said at the outset that this was a bunch of, i think you said "young people," who were really leading this revolution, are they part of this process, and are they part of this vision? >> okay. this is a very strategic question, you know. dung 2007 and 2008, a group of libyan professors from the university of ghayoun and other
libyan universies and libyan practitioners took part in an exercise of what we call the 2025 vision for libya. it was based on the following factors. first, a reading of the global scene today, you know, where things are moving globally, you know, where we see the demography, capital and the human resources population. those wi the three factors which will shape the 21st century, the interaction between those three factors. where libya can be positioned within this regional context and a global context in terms of competitiveness, you know. we have depleted commodity, we depend on it because of the
economy. we have only oil, and the oil reserve is, as you know whatever the duration is going to be 25, 30, 35 years. so it's a commodity that is going to deplete one day or the other. so we have to think of an alternative economy, but it's not a haphazard selection. it has to be based in this positioning of libya, which identity of an economy that can help us compete regionally and internationally, so we can get the hard currency, so we can feed our people, find housing for them, provide them with education, help, blah, blah, blah, and we managed during that exercise to pin down that libya can go with a service economy, based on knowledge, where human development would be the crux of the matter, education and a new type of education, a new
paradigm of education is emerging. we move from access of knowledge to the management of knowledge. therefore the whole class, administration, everything, should be revised, you know. that exercise came out in a document which exceeds 2,100 pages, you know, because we went through all sectors of the economy, and each sector there is a road map that should take us to that scene of libya, democratic libya, where the private sector plays a very active role, where there is a equality between different segments of the society members, members of society. there is no gender, ethnicity, religion. all these are taken into consideration. independent judiciary authority, we are talking about accountability, we are talking about transparency, you know, all the elements which make for
a rational governance, good governance. reaching that stage, you know, in libya, my own opinion, is a must, because libya is facing fo types of challenges right now, a demographic challenge, because the libyan population is shrinking. our growth rate dropped from 4.8 to 1.5 just three months ago. that's very scary, because libya, among 28 countries, plus five other united nations facing this population decrease. this is a time where the rest of africa is expanding exponentially. egypt by 2025 will be 117 million people to our east. algeria and morocco combined by 2025 will be 92 million people,
while libya in 2025 will be 8.1 million. the sudan and our south will be 73 billion people. africa as a continent will be 1 billion to 158 million people, so it's a must. it's inescapable that there will be an african march coming from the south, going to europe, you know, looking for a better life. that's where we try to develop that libya could be the link, this developmental model. not serving only the libyan people through finding an alternative economy, but also serving the continent by making this transformation and the process of skills of africans to serve the needs of the european economy. and we pin also the type of skills are needed. europe by 2025 will be needing
110 million extra skilled laborers just to sustain their current living of productivity. so the equation is there. it's ready, you know. all it needs is the real world. we sustain the cost and we can meet it. this is the first type of a challenge. the second type is the depletion of oil resources, and the third type of challenge is the scarcity of water resources. libya and the emirates are the worst in the world in terms of the share of each individual in water resources. and the fourth type of challenge is the diminishing of the sense of state in e minds of people. people don't respect the state anymore because the state of chaos that's taking place and lack of institution, lack of the rule of law during the last 42 years. that's why corruption was wire